Santa Cruz island, Channel islandsSanta Cruz island, Channel islands

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An island so far from the world, so close to Los Angeles...

My experience, Explo description: 

A perfect destination for amateurs of nature and adventure. Kilometres of trails among meadows, canyons, oasis of eucalyptus, deserted beaches and impressive cliffs. For a one day trip, this is the channel island best island to go.

On the way, by boat, you will certainly see some sea lions, some dolphins, and if you are lucky, you can even see whales !

The boat will drop you at the Scorpion Anchorage pier (1 on the plan). There, you can take advantage of the beach and observe the curious " kelps " (seaweeds to observe from the pier). Having said that, the place is enough crowded and there are magnificent strolls to be made to discover the island.

1 day trip : if you want to enjoy a magnificent pebble beach, isolated and lined with olive trees, go rather to Smuggler Cove (5 the plan). Attractive walk, 1.5h of march to go and so much for return.

1 day trip :
A more sport and adventurous option consists in making a circuit by beginning by :

  • >Cavern point (2 on the plan)
  • >Then take the Scorpion Canyon loop trail (4)
  • >Then go up to Montannon ridge (6). On the way, you can notice on your left an ancient oil drill. On the ridge, if there is no fog, you will have a magnificent sight on all the island.
  • >From there, walk down again by the same road up to the smuggler road, and go to the smuggler cove (5) for a little bath : you will deserve it !
  • >Return then to Scorpion Anchorage to catch the last boat.

Beware, this trip is long : about 14 miles. You need good physical condition to achieve it. Take some water with you and beware the heat !

My personal recommendations: 

It is possible to camp on the island : to be sure to enjoy the nature and to discover the wilder part of the island (west part).
Camps are located at : Scorpion Anchorage (1) and Del Norte Camp (11), 7 miles from Scorpion Anchorage...

How getting there: 

You can go to Santa Cruz all year round.
The main operator to the island is Island Packers. It is necessary to book your ticket in advance or to go to the desk at 7a.m. to get it and not to miss the boat.
Ticket : $48 for an adult.
The desk is located close to the end of the pier of Ventura Harbour, close to the Channel Islands National Park visitor centre.
Ventura Harbour is 2 miles (SE) from Ventura.

A tip to eat: 

Take you own food. No food on the island. Only a little food bar on the boat.

A tip to sleep: 

Sleep at Ventura the day before to get the early boat for the islands. Motels in the city centre are cheaper than those close to the harbour.

Useful information: 
Visit duration: 

At least 1 day. This island is located in a National park. Please protect the nature.


Island Packers :

  • >Camping reservation number : (800) 365-2267